Westfield sues to reopen Culver City shopping center

LOS ANGELES, CA – The pushback against Los Angeles County’s coronavirus arrest orders intensified this week with a lawsuit filed by the region’s largest indoor mall operator, seeking to reopen.

Westfield – which operates indoor malls in Topanga, Culver City, Sherman Oaks, Valencia and Santa Anita – sued the county on Monday, calling its mall closures “unjustifiable.” If Westfield is successful, Westfield Culver City may soon reopen.

According to the lawsuit, malls are safer than other retailers and there is “absolutely no public health justification” for their forced closure. Since reopening in the summer and closing again amid an increase in the number of new cases, county health officials have taken a slower reopening approach than neighboring counties. The pressure to speed up the reopening process has been mounting for weeks. Monday’s lawsuit follows a proposed federal class action lawsuit brought by a group of business owners fighting the closure of the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance.

“The county’s arbitrary shutdown of indoor shopping malls and their indoor retailers has caused and will continue to cause substantial harm to complainants, their employees, the community, and retailers, operators and employees of indoor malls and shopping malls. throughout the county, “the costume says.” These harms include monetary losses due to reduced income, sales and rent payments, as well as non-monetary and existential losses in the form of lost customer base. clients.”

The county’s public health department previously declined to comment on Del Amo’s ongoing litigation, but said it continued to apply state science and health guidelines as indicators of reopening.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, Los Angeles County has been intensely committed to protecting the health and safety of its residents through an unprecedented crisis by using science and data and responding in real time to a virus deadly and hitherto unknown which tragically claimed thousands of lives. lives and has turned the lives of millions of people upside down – not just in Los Angeles County, but across the country and around the world, ”the county statement said.

The Westfield lawsuit also names the county watchdog, the director of public health, Dr Barbara Ferrer, the health worker, Dr Muntu Davis and Sheriff Alex Villanueva as plaintiffs.

City News Service and Patch Staffer Paige Austin contributed to this report.

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Kevin T. McElroy

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